France cut welfare benefits for 290 jihadists last year

France’s interior minister on Tuesday said that the government cut welfare benefits last year for 290 persons identified as jihadists.

Bernard Cazeneuve told French lawmakers that the interior ministry had identified close to 300 individuals who had left France to wage jihad in Iraq or Syria, sharing their names with social welfare agencies.

The minister said that thanks to the government’s platform allowing people to report suspected cases of Islamic radicalisation “instances in which persons have travelled outside the national territory are immediately indicated to officials in charge of disbursing social benefits”.

Cazeneuve was answering a question from an opposition lawmaker who expressed concern over French citizens collecting welfare checks while fighting alongside Islamic extremist groups in the Middle East.